Of the seven teams Vince Carter has played for, his shortest tenure came as a member of the Phoenix Suns.
If you were to ask a casual basketball fan to list the teams Vince Carter played for, the one team they’d probably forget to name is the Phoenix Suns. Of course, that’s because he only played in the Valley for part of one season (2010-11), making it the shortest of his seven NBA tenures.
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While Vince Carter only played 51 games for the Suns during the 2010-11 NBA season, his time in Phoenix signified two major transitions: one for the Suns, and one for Carter himself. The Phoenix Suns were moving out of regular postseason contention into an official rebuild while Carter was moving from his role as a go-to guy into a role as a bench player.
During his 51-game stint with Phoenix, Carter came off the bench more times (10) than he had in his previous 874 games (8). The move set the stage for his eventual reinvention as a role player on playoff teams with Dallas and Memphis in the years following.
In the year before Carter arrived, the Suns made the Western Conference Finals. However, after Amar’e Stoudemire signed with the New York Knicks and the 2010-11 team started out 12-13, it was clear the team wasn’t in great shape. Still, the front office tried to shake things up by bringing in Carter, Marcin Gortat, and Mickael Pietrus from Orlando. When things didn’t improve, though, it brought on the rebuild that Phoenix is just climbing out of now. It should be noted that in said trade, the Suns sent Earl Clark, Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu to Orlando and also received cash and a first-round pick in return.
Overall, the Vinsanity era in Phoenix was forgettable. Like I mentioned earlier, he came off the bench for a spell (his final 10 games in Phoenix) and produced his lowest scoring output to date (13.5 points per game). However, in the grand scheme of things, it was a real turning point for Carter and Phoenix’s franchise.